Arvin Mayor Olivia Trujillo fights allegation she committed unemployment insurance fraud | News – Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield, California 2021-06-10 19:12:00 –

The city of Irvine has accused Mayor Olivia Trujillo of possible unemployment insurance fraud. Trujillo, meanwhile, has argued that the accusation was a political retaliation in response to cost-cutting efforts at the city hall.

In a letter to the Employment Development Department dated May 20, former mayor Richard Breckenridge states that Trujillo may have committed fraud by submitting unemployment benefits to the city of Alvin. ..

However, Trujillo said the unemployment insurance claim he filed last spring was due to his failure to work as a door-to-door kitchenware salesperson, saying he was unable to perform his duties due to a pandemic. It states.

“The truth is that I have never committed any kind of scam,” she said. “Actually, because of my medical condition, it was a pandemic unemployment support program. I couldn’t work as usual.”

Trujillo said he had been fighting cancer since 2010 and was recently diagnosed with a recurrence. She said her doctor had told her not to continue working as an independent saleswoman and was quarantined for a month after being infected with COVID-19 in July.

“For me, it’s a defamation of personality,” she said of the accusation. “I wasn’t notified by the city council and the city lawyer who was paid to protect the city. Instead of throwing the ball at the city manager who didn’t tell me anything about this, he told me. You could have called. I feel this was just retaliation. “

Trujillo was first elected to the Arvin City Council in 2018 and received a monthly benefit of $ 300. In December, she became mayor and received a monthly benefit of $ 900. She said she received a total of over $ 3,000 in unemployment benefits, with the final payment received in March.

She claims that recent cost-cutting efforts by her and Congress have led to a division between her and some city officials.

It is unknown when and how the city noticed Trujillo’s unemployment benefits. On Thursday, interim mayor Geoff Johns did not respond to a request for comment. Interim city lawyer Nathan Hodges also did not return a request for comment. I couldn’t ask Brickenridge for comment.

In a document submitted to the city through a request of the Public Records Act, EDD first sent a “Notice of Unpaid Amount” to the city in August 2020 in connection with Trujillo’s claim. EDD sent two follow-up notices in November and May, adding a $ 1,190.96 fee.

The city first protested the indictment in a letter dated May 6.

The city’s May 20 letter suggests that Trujillo is using wages from the city council and the mayor is paying unemployment benefits. The letter states that unemployment insurance claims deserve further investigation by EDD.

“Mr. Trujillo is not an employee of the city and has never been” unemployed “during his term as a city council member or mayor,” the letter said. “Provision of unemployment insurance benefits to locally elected civil servants is specifically prohibited by state law.”

The state unemployment department will not comment on this issue. In an email to Californians, a spokesperson said a confidentiality law prohibits the department from commenting on potential letters and accusations.

Irvine City Hall has recently experienced turmoil. In late May, former mayor Brickenridge resigned. The contract between former city lawyer Shannon Chaffin and the city ended on April 27.

When asked about the end, Chaffin replied that it was a pleasure to work with the community.

The council itself also experienced a resignation within a year. Former councilor Jazzmin Robles resigned in April. She said she wanted to focus on her work as a teacher at the time.

So far, Trujillo has not been contacted by EDD and says he does not expect to suffer political accusations.

“People chose to serve me. They know me. I’ve been in Irvine for over 53 years. I’m honest and transparent. I’m not doing anything else, We provided resources to Arvin, “she said. “With these people gone, we’ll be fine. We’ll replace them with respectful people. Political influence on me, in any form or form. There is none.”

You can reach Sammorgen at 661-395-7415. You can also follow him on Twitter @ smorgenTBC.

Arvin Mayor Olivia Trujillo fights allegation she committed unemployment insurance fraud | News Source link Arvin Mayor Olivia Trujillo fights allegation she committed unemployment insurance fraud | News

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